The Agnistoma Somayaga in the Shukla Yajurveda

by Madan Haloi | 2018 | 109,416 words

This page relates ‘Part 4.6: Construction of the Sadas’ of the study on the Agnistoma Somayaga as described in the Shukla Yajurveda (dealing with Vedic Rituals). The Agnistoma sacrifice (lit. “praise of Agni”) connects god with men and is performed in the spring season. It is the model of all the Soma sacrifices and forms a large and complicated ceremony preceded by four preliminary ritualistic days. This thesis deals with all the details involved in the Agnistoma sacrifice.

Part 4.6: Construction of the Sadas

[Full title: Rites Performed on the Fourth Day: (e) Construction of the Sadas (sadaḥnirmāṇa)]

In addition to this, the rites related to the construction of the sadas are performed on the fourth day. The sadas is considered to be belly of the yajñapuruṣa. Hence, the rite of consuming the remnant of oblation occurs inside the sadas. This shed is called so because all the gods sit inside it. The sadas primarily belongs to the god Indra. The Brāhmaṇas too sit inside it.[1] As the gods and the Brāhmaṇas sit inside it,so it is called sadaḥ.[2] Inside the sadas, an audumbarī post is raised. As stated in the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa, leaving six steps towards the east from the antaḥpātya peg and again one long step towards the south, the place for the audumbarī post is marked. Its height should be equal to the sacrificer’s height.[3] The Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra states that the seventh step should be the longest.[4] Vidyadhar in his commentary on the Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra shows the width of the seventh step as seven Aratnis or as the step of four and half Aratnis or hundred and eight Aṅgulas.[5] The Adhvaryu takes the spade in order to dig the pit of the post. He takes the spade and marks the pit.[6]

He does these two rites with the following two respective formulae—

(a) devasyatvā savituḥ prasaveśvinorbāhubhyāṃ pūṣṇo hastābhyām/ ādade nāryasi/

(b) idamahaṃ rakṣasāṃ grīvāapikṛntāmi/[7]

Thereafter, he digs the pit and puts the heap of earth from the pit by throwing itto the front side. Having cut the post, he lays it in the fore part of the pit with its top pointing towards the east.[8] Then he covers the post with barhiṣ of equal length. The water used for sprinkling consists of barley corns. The Adhvaryu puts the barley corns into the water and sprinkles the water on the post with prescribed formula.[9]

The formulae to be used in pouring yava in the water and in sprinkling on the post are respectively.[10]

(a) yavo’si yavayāsmaddveṣo yavayārātīḥ,

(b) dive tvāntarikṣāya tvā pṛthīvyai tvā/

Kātyāyana mentions that the Adhvaryu sprinkles the water on the top, middle and bottom of the post.[11] The remnant is poured into the pit of the post and barhiṣ are spread out some of them pointing towards the east and some towards the north.[12]

He does these two acts with these formulae respectively.[13]

(a) śundhantāṃ lokāḥ pitṛṣadanā/,

(b) pitṛṣadanamasi/

Then the Adhvaryu lifts up the post, places it in the pit and fixes by dumping the earth around it.

All these rites are performed by uttering the following yajuṣ formulae[14] and these are respectively.[15]

(a) uddivaṃ stabhānāntarikṣaṃ pṛṇa dṛṃhasva pṛthivyām/,

(b) dyutānastvā māruto minotu mitrāvaruṇau dhruveṇa dharmaṇā/,

(c) brahmavani tvā kṣatravani rāyaspoṣavani paryūhāmi/

He then presses the earth around the post in order to level it with the ground and pours some water on that place.[16]

He presses down the earth with this formula—

brahma dṛṃha kṣatraṃ dṛṃhāyurdṛṃha prajāṃ dṛṃha/[17]

Then the sacrificer is guided by the Adhvaryu to touch the post by uttering a yajuṣ formula.[18]

The formula runs as follows—

dhruvāsi dhruvo’yaṃ yajamāno’sminnāyatane prajayā paśubhirbhūyāt/[19]

These two words prajayā and paśubhi have been stated in the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa as well as in Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra as optional. Then comes a libation made with the sruva on the head of the post.[20]

He makes this libation with this formula—

ghṛtena dvyāvāpṛthivī pūryethām/[21]

Sāyaṇa states that the libation should be made in such a way so that the ghee from the head of the post comes through the post to the bottom.[22] Kātyāyana mentions that whenever the ghee reaches the bottom, the Adhvaryu utters the word svāhā.[23]

Regarding the sadas, the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa says that the sadas should be made with its tie-beams pointing towards the north.The audumbarī post should be in the middle of the sadas. It should have two doors—one in the east and the other in the west.[24] Apart from these, Kātyāyana has added some more information regarding the measurement of the sadas. Accordingly, the height of the posts in the boundary of the sadas should be equal to the height of the navel of the sacrificer. Or one may measure the height according to his will. Moreover, the length of the sadas may be either eighteen Aratnis or twenty one or twenty four Aratnis. The width may be either nine Aratnis or half of its length. As the audumbarī post raised in the middle has a height equal to the height of the sacrificer, so, the height of the middle portion of the sadas is more than that of the boundary posts. Some opine that the place of the pṛṣṭhyā line should be in the middle of the sadas.[25] Chitrabhanu states that this shed is constructed with the bamboo posts inside the mahāvedī at the distance of three Prakramas to the east.[26] It is covered with nine mat roofs in the Agniṣṭoma, the Ukthya needs fifteen, the Ṣoḍaśī needs sixteen, the Vājapeya needs seventeen and the Sattra and the Ahīna type sacrifices need twenty one roof mats.[27] The Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa as well as the Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra state that first, the central roof mat is placed over the sadas.[28]

During this time, he utters this formula—

indrasya chadirasi viśvajanasya chāyā/[29]

After the spreading of the central roof mat, the Adhvaryu puts three northern and the three southern mats on the roof of the sadas. The total number of roof mats is nine.[30] From the commentary of Sāyaṇa on the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa, it is clear that after having laid down the three central roof mats, the other two sets of mats are laid in the northern and the southern parts of the sadas.[31] Thite states that each time, the Adhvaryu recites the same formula.[32] Eggeling states that the rite of covering the sadas with the Chadis comes after the raising up of the posts of the front doors and the back doors and laying of the beams on both lengthwise and crosswise as done in case of the prācīnavaṃśa śālā and the havirdhāna mandapa.[33] The sadas is enclosed with yajuṣ formula.[34]

The formula is this—

pari tvā girvaṇo gira imā bhavantu viśvataḥ/ vṛddhāyumanu vṛddhayo juṣṭā bhavantu juṣṭayaḥ/[35]

The Adhvaryu completes the rites of sewing of the enclosures, making the knot and touching the sadas with yajuṣ formulae uttered with each act.[36]

The formulae are respectively.[37]

(a) indrasya syūrasi/,

(b) indrasya dhruvo’si/,

(c) aindramasi/

Having completed the rite of sewing, the Adhvaryu releases the knot.[38]

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

cf., udaramevāsyasadaḥ / tasmātsadasi bhakṣayanti/ yadasminviśvedevā sīdan tasmāt sado nāma/…brāhmaṇā viśvagotrāḥ sīdanti aundraṃ devatayā/ Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa ,3.6.1.1,3.5.3.5

[3]:

cf., tanmadhya audumbarīṃ minoti/, atha ya eṣa madhyamaḥ śaṅkurbhavati vederjaghanardhe/ tasmāt prāṅ prakrāmati saḍvikramān-dakṣiṇā saptamamapakrāmati...tadavaṭaṃ parilikhati/, yajamānena sammāyaudumbarīṃ parivāsayati/ Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa ,3.6.1.2-3,6

[4]:

Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra ,8.5.26

[5]:

Vidyadhar on Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra ,8.5.26

[6]:

cf., so’bhrimādatte…/,athāvaṭaṃ parilikhati…/ Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa ,3.6.1.4-5; Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra ,6.2.8

[7]:

Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā ,5.26(a&b)

[8]:

Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa ,3.6.1.6; Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra ,6.2.9-11

[9]:

Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa ,3.6.1.6-7,11,12

[10]:

Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā ,5.26(b&c)

[11]:

Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra ,6.2.12,15

[12]:

cf., athayāḥ prokṣaṇyaḥ pariśiṣyantetāvaṭe’vanayati…/athabarhīṃṣi…/ Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa ,3.6.1.13-14; Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra ,8.2.17-18

[13]:

Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā ,5.26(d&e)

[14]:

cf., tamucchrayati …/,athaminoti …/,athaparyūhati…/ Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa , 3.6.1.15-17; Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra , 8.5.29-31

[15]:

Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā , 5.27(a,b,c)

[16]:

Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa , 3.6.1.18-19; Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra , 8.5.31

[17]:

Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā , 5.27(d)

[18]:

cf., athainamabhipadya vācayati …/ Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa , 3.6.1.20; Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra , 8.5.31

[19]:

Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā , 5.28(a)

[20]:

cf., atha sruveṇopahatyājyaṃ viṣṭapamabhijuhoti …/ Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra , 8.5.32

[21]:

Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā , 5.28(b)

[22]:

cf., yathā śākhāyā agramūlabhāgo madhyadeśaśca aktā bhavanti, evamājyaṃ juhoti / Sāyaṇa on Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa , 3.6.1.21

[23]:

Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra , 8.5.32

[24]:

cf., tadudīcīnavaṃśaṃ sado bhavati /, tasmānmadhya audumbarīṃ minoti/, ubhayatodvāraṃ sadaḥ / Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa , 3.6.1.23,2,5.3.7

[25]:

Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra , 8.6.1-6

[26]:

Chitrabhanu Sen, op.cit, p.115

[27]:

Āpastamba Śrautasūtra , 11. 10.12

[28]:

Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa , 3.6.1.22; Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra , 8.6.7

[29]:

Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā , 5.28

[30]:

cf., tadubhayataśchadiṣī upadadhāti -uttaratastrīṇi, parastrīṇi, tāninavabhavanti / Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa , 3.6.1.22; cf. Kātyāyana Śrautasūtra , 8.6.8

[31]:

Sāyaṇa on Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa , 3.6.1.22

[32]:

Thite, op.cit, Vol. 1, p.322, fn. 1 under sūtra 8.6.12-11

[33]:

F. Maxmuller (ed), Julius Eggeling(eng.trans.), op.cit., Part. 2, Books 3&4, p. 145,fn. 2

[34]:

Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa , 3.6.1.24; 8.6.9

[35]:

Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā , 5.29

[36]:

Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa , 3.6.1.25; 8.6.9

[37]:

Vājasaneyi Saṃhitā , 5.30(a,b,c)

[38]:

Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa , 3.3.1.25

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